My High Shoals Waterfall & Headquarters Loop Trail Adventure

Updated: May 20, 2020

Take a hike! No, really.


On Sunday June 2, 2019 I went on a roughly 5.3 mile hike with my friends.


Originally, I thought about doing the hike because my friend Abigale likes hiking and I thought that she was leaving on military orders that Monday. I wanted to do one last thing with her before she left.


As we planned, questions came up about whether we should invite our boyfriend's and our other friends in the couple's group chat. Whether we should bring our dogs and etc. Abi and I decided on her bringing her dog and me bringing my dog. We would not be bringing our boyfriend's dogs along unless they were coming. We also decided that we'd leave for the trail at 9:00am but we would put all the information in our group chat and let the others decide if they wanted to join us.


Our hiking party turned into Abigale, her boyfriend Devonte, our mutual friend Marcus, and myself. Joining us would be our dogs: Kiara, Toby, Ana, and Zoey respectively.


 

The day has arrived


Mind you I had been up until 1:00am that night because of the engagement shenanigans the day before. It was a long day and to turn around to wake up at 7:30am was a doozy.


I woke up but I didn't actually leave my house until around 8:45am to pick up Marcus and Ana on my way out to Abi and Devonte's place. But they were so kind as to grab us breakfast when they went out that morning. Once we got to their place we all got ourselves situated in the right cars and then we're off.


I had no idea where we were going. Abi had decided to keep the location of the trail a total secret from me.


Welcome to Connelly Springs, NC


If I recall correctly, the drive was about an hour and 30 minutes total. Once we parked we were basically in a dead zone cell phone service wise. We all get out and get ourselves and the dogs sprayed down in bug spray. Then we're off!


At the start of the trail Abi asks me do I want to start our loop trail with the waterfall or end it with the waterfall. I decide on us starting with the waterfall. I wanted to be able to enjoy it rather than wanting to rush through it at the end because I'm exhausted. So we file down in a line with our dogs towing us.


Zoey can't stand to be in the back. She'll pull me if she's not first or second so we take a nice spot in second place. With Abi and Toby leading the way. About 15 minutes into the trail we let the dogs wade into the river and drink the water. Which I'm super proud of Zoey for doing because she is straight up bougie. Baby girl does not like the outdoors and at every dog park we've ever been to she refuses to drink the water there. Don't worry, I was prepared with her water bowl in my bag just in case. We head back on the trail and we make it to the more scenic portion of the waterfall where we all take some pictures.




At this point I'm starting to slow down because the path we're on is very narrow and the stairs are pretty steep. It's like being in a stair stepper that feels like it's never going to end. But we make it to the top of the waterfall where we can cross over and continue on our way for the actual trail. Before crossing we take the opportunity to walk close to the edge and get a photo of the four of us. After that it's all uphill from there.



When I tell you I felt like I was going to die. I felt like I was going to die!!!!

The trail was flat for like 5 minutes and then we hooked a left and it just kept going up. I mean I was struggling. My army boots were rubbing me the wrong way and I could feel the heels of my feet go numb. Eventually I ended up taking them off and putting my sneakers on. My sneakers were more comfortable, but I could feel every single rock I stepped on. I'll be getting actual hiking sneakers and socks because I want to keep going on trails. I'm just really glad that I had Zoey with me. She pulled me when I needed it, and I don't think I could have finished that trail without her help. I honestly feel like I would've given up on those stairs best the waterfall lol.


The thing about this trail was that there was no final destination like with Crowder's Mountain. Nope, the trail just kept going. Once we finally reached the peak point the trail quickly began to slope downward. Zoey began dragging me a little so I had to work that out so that I wasn't running downhill. Which is really uncomfortable. But we made it back! I was super proud of myself for doing the trail and just beaming at the fact that although Zoey got tired she never gave up. Her spirits were pretty high.


 

Aftermath & Afterthoughts


Zoey ended up with some cracked paws. Nothing to be too concerned with. We just let her rest for the rest of the week. She only needed to get up and move to either eat or go to the bathroom. I ended up with thighs and a lower back that ached for a few days.


I was actually fine in the clothes I had on which were some athletic pants and a dri-fit tank top. I think I would've preferred a dri-fit t-shirt is all. Definitely would change out my shoes. I'll need to remember to bring my own bug spray if I ever go alone. I should've brought snacks for Zoey and myself but I was rushing that morning. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I think a lot of that had to do with going with my friends. It helped having people to joke and laugh with.


 

What have you done to go #BeyondYourWindow recently? Share on social media with the hashtag, comment below, or send me a private message!




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